April 16, 2021 10.52 am This story is over 36 months old

Optimism in Lincolnshire as COVID restrictions ease

Numbers expected to rise, but hopes tally stays low

Lincolnshire health bosses expect COVID-19 cases to rise in our region as lockdown is eased, but are optimistic that if numbers are kept low enough, then people will be free to enjoy the summer.

Andy Fox, Deputy Director of Public Health at Lincolnshire County Council, said the lifting of coronavirus restrictions this week had not caused any specific concerns yet.

Numbers in general continue to drop, with Lincolnshire’s infection rate currently sitting around 33.5 per 100,000 of population — down from the 80 mark just three weeks ago.

Around 66.5% of the adult population has now had their vaccine, with the numbers increasing above 95% in the older age groups.

Between 80-90,000 tests are being carried out a week at the peak, mostly in schools, which are currently on half-term holiday.

Mr Fox said numbers were expected to increase as restrictions were listed, and that it was difficult to predict the impact, which depends on population behaviours.

However, he said: “We’d expect to see numbers increase in incidence in the younger people, but hopefully that will not translate into significant increases in hospitalisation and deaths.”

He added: “If we get numbers below a certain threshold and COVID-19 shows signs of being a seasonal condition, then when we get some good hot weather in the summer and everyone’s out and about we could see it staying low — that’s the more optimistic perspective.”

However, he reiterated caution to be responsible as people visited pubs and restaurants.

“It’s just great to see everybody getting out about following the rules correctly, and being able to enjoy the fact that we can now have a little bit more freedom,” he said.

“It’s a little bit too early to tell if that’s going to cause any problems at this point. It does take a while for any increase in transmission to translate into positive tests and into our statistics, but I’m just pleased to see people able to have a little bit more life.

“Of course, we’re worried about COVID, but we’re also worried about the general health of the population. We do want to see people being active, we do want to see people having their lives back — it’s better for everybody.”